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Full text of "The New World Order"

THE END  OF AN AGE
the margins of the prevailing peace. There
were several wars and changes of boundaries, but
they involved no fundamental disturbance of
the general civilised life ; they did not seem to
threaten its broadening tolerations and under-
standings in any fundamental fashion. Economic
stresses and social trouble stirred and muttered
beneath the orderly surfaces of political life, but
threatened no convulsion. The idea of alto-
gether eliminating war, of clearing what was left
of it away, was in the air, but it was free from any
sense of urgency. The Hague Tribunal was
established and there was a steady dissemination
of the conceptions of arbitration and international
law. It really seemed to many that the peoples
of the earth were settling down in their various
territories to a litigious rather than a belligerent
order. If there was much social injustice it
was being mitigated more and more by a quicken-
ing sense of social decency. Acquisitiveness
conducted itself with decorum and public-
spiritedness was in fashion. Some of it was quite
honest public-spiritedness.
In those days, and they are hardly more than
half a lifetime behind us, no one thought of any
sort of world administration. That patchwork of
great Powers and small Powers seemed the most
reasonable and practicable method of running